Thread: Leather Helmets

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    Default Leather Helmets

    Hi,

    Any prefrences on leather helmets?

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    Cairns N5A (New Yorker) - preferably an older one, but if you have to go new, go new.

    Stay Safe

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    SFDny15
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    Yeah, the Cairns N5A is a great choice. Personally, I use the N6A which is the Houston model. The Houston is NFPA compliant while the New Yorker is only OSHA. I use the Houston because of the faceshield which is used quite a bit in my department (extrication, etc.)

    Cairns New Yorker or Houston are you best bets.

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    I was not aware of any leather fireman helmets besides the N5A "New Yorker", I've heard there is something called a Houston But seriously - I love my New Yorker, buy one before someone decides to take away something else from us that leans towards tradition!
    Brian Rowe
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    Colleton County Fire/Rescue

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    Cool

    The Paul Conway American Heritage is a very nice leather. But if your looking for tradition and have the money to spend then the New Yorker is what you want.


    "FEAR NOTHING, RESPECT ALL"

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    Your choices:

    Cairns N6A - Houston - NFPA approved

    Cairns N5A - New Yorker - OSHA approved, not NFPA

    Paul Conway - NFPA approved.

    The Conway is actually a composite helmet with strips of leather stretched over it. Looks like a leather, and most guys say it is very comfortable.

    If you must where an approved helmet....you really only have 2 choices.

    I have a N6A..and it seems to get more comfortable everytime I wear it.

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    My favorite leather is my older New Yorker.

    I also have a Houston that is 5 or 6 years old.

    I don't like the new Houstons because the domes are so HUGE on the damn things. I know they need to add protective caps and such on the inside but GD it, it is getting a little ridiculous.
    IACOJ Agitator
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    Unhappy

    Cairns 5A ....but they don't seem to make em like they used to

    Got my first one back in '87, still good, but retired it 4 years ago when I was given an all-white one as a father's day present by my new-born 1st daughter (I think mom helped her pick it out). That one has since ben retired, the brim dried and cracked, then the leather around the brim dried and split to the point where the wire around the rim was exposed. I send it back to the dealer for evaluation from Cairns, and I was told to hang it on the wall.

    Now wearing my 3rd leather, again a traditional black 5A. (this one is department issued) Got the engraved eagle from Cairns on it, but that's kinda flimsy as compaired to the one on my orginal helmet. Crossing my fingers that this one holds up better that the white one did.

    One thing I do like with the newer styles is the ratchet adjust on the head band. At first it was a little goofy getting used to but now it's so easy to adjust when necessary.
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    I bought my first leather in 1976. Guess how much it cost (w/Bourke eyeshields)?

    $76.00

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    Post Cairns

    The only real Leather Helmet is the Cairns N5A or N6A...(in my opinion anything else is an imitation)...Look at em closely...and
    NO...I do not sell them!

    George...I got you beat...1971, complete with bourques and the leather front.....with the good old elastic chin strap and short nomex earflaps...$71.00
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    I know I am going to get slammed for this but....

    What is that makes a leather so great? I have worn two and while I thought they were decent helmets I don't think they were any better then the 1010 I am currently wearing. In fact with the ratchet adjustment and lighter weight I would say that the 1010 is the best helmet I have worn.

    I see all this worship to a type of helmet and I have to scratch my head. To me if you were going to worship anything leather in the fire service it would be leather firefighting boots. That is a piece of protective clothing that has really made a difference in my opinion.

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    Originally posted by RE33
    I know I am going to get slammed for this but....

    What is that makes a leather so great? I have worn two and while I thought they were decent helmets I don't think they were any better then the 1010 I am currently wearing. In fact with the ratchet adjustment and lighter weight I would say that the 1010 is the best helmet I have worn.

    I see all this worship to a type of helmet and I have to scratch my head. To me if you were going to worship anything leather in the fire service it would be leather firefighting boots. That is a piece of protective clothing that has really made a difference in my opinion.
    Whatever.

    Captstan;

    BUT...did you get to go directly to the factory, get that stupd machine with the punch card put on your head, and get it custom made?

    I went through about a million of those blue elastic chin straps.

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    Originally posted by RE33
    I know I am going to get slammed for this but....

    What is that makes a leather so great? I have worn two and while I thought they were decent helmets I don't think they were any better then the 1010 I am currently wearing. In fact with the ratchet adjustment and lighter weight I would say that the 1010 is the best helmet I have worn.

    I see all this worship to a type of helmet and I have to scratch my head. To me if you were going to worship anything leather in the fire service it would be leather firefighting boots. That is a piece of protective clothing that has really made a difference in my opinion.
    another reason for leather....

    Last week, I had to meet the garage door repair people at Engine 2's house ( they were out on a call), so I took my gear, put it in Car 3 and met them there. When I came back to quarters, I put my gear on the front bumper of the Engine. I did a stupid, stupidthing....I put the helmet (a Cairns N6A) under my coat. At 17:15 hours, we were dispatched for a "smoke in the building" call at an apartment complex. I put on my bunker pants, grabbed my coat, and thinking that my brain bucket was in the cab of the rig, climbed aboard and went to the call.

    When we arrived at the scene as the second due engine, we stood by the hydrant as per our response protocol. The deputy pulled alongside of us in Car 2 and said "Captain, I think this is yours..."

    It had come off the bumper of the rig as we were taking a corner...the Deputy saw it go end over end through the intersection. It got a few scuffs on the ridges and the brim, nothing that touch up paint couldn't hide. Otherwise, there was no other damage to the helmet or its integrity. If it was "pleather" or "tactical tupperware", it would have been junk!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Default That pretty much sums it up...

    The picture posted by E40FDNYL35 says it all....nothing is better....

    Geroge....ok...you got me... I bought mine from Maryland Fire Equipment off the shelf...... Now I am sad that my first one was not custom made! I know what you mean about the straps.....LOL
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    Launched my 1010 out of the cab while the driver made a hard left hand turn. Went back, picked it up and have worn it ever since...hmmmm.

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    Smile Thanks

    Hey everyone,


    Thanks for all the great information and entertaining stories, I'm aware of several brands of leather helmets and just wanted some opinions, I have worn a N6A that one of my coworkers owns and kind of fell in love with it nice and pretty, just trying to bring some tradition back to a very untraditional fire service, I have an east coast attitude with some west coast mixing in a new age fire department.... so we'll see what happens.. if anyone has an opinion on anything other then the Houston or New Yorker, pipe in please... Thanks again, and happy holidays....

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    I have used a N5A before and liked it. My last helmet I bought for my self was a Morning Pride Ben 2, which is the same thing that FDNY uses. This thing takes all the heat I can through at it, which hasn't been much, and keeps coming back for more. I learned the hard way why you put your chin strap on when my helmet fell four stories to the ground. Just a few scratches that would not need painting and it is the most comfortable thing I have ever worn.

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    tshayes,

    Are you saying that a non leather helmet fell four stories and was still able to be worn? Impossible.... or at least some would want you to believe that. You also said that the helmet is comfortable and has been able to offer all the protection you ever needed? It just can't be.

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    Default Where to buy 'em?

    I have been wanting to get a Sam Houston for a few years now. Our department issues Cairns 1000's and 1010's, can only wear a Houston.

    where is the best and cheapest place to order?

    Also...how do you measure your head for one? Like a hat?

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    Default Re: Where to buy 'em?

    Originally posted by SCOOBY14B
    I have been wanting to get a Sam Houston
    for a few years now. Our department issues
    Cairns 1000's and 1010's, can only wear a Houston.
    where is the best and cheapest place to order?
    From fire helmets to fuzzy handcuffs, you can find
    almost anything at www.ebay.com. I have
    seen numerous (LOTS) fire helmets (leather/non-leather)
    there for a decent price.

    And dont forget the "tactical tupperware" at-
    www.phenixfirehelmets.com. They sell leather too.

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    I am serious about this I was at a smoke tower on the top roof which is four stories high and my lid fell off my head. It scuffed the top a little but that was all. Why do you think FDNY uses the morning pride traditional ben 2. I wanted a leather N6A but could not afford it so I went with morning pride. My helmet looks great and feels great. I figure that if FDNY has bought them and still is then there must be somthing good about them.

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    Go to www.thefirestore.com for the best prices on gear. They ship it fast and cost less than all of the places I have checked on gear. I bought my helmet from them and had great service. Also you may want to check with your department who they buy equipment through and go to that store. That is what I did when it came to buying a few other items like flashlights and fronts for the helmet. Also anyone out there have a Morning Pride helmet traditonal and use an MSA front on it. I got a paul conway front but I was dissapointed because it took 6 weeks to get done and to my house when I could have gotten an MSA in three or four weeks for the same price. Tell me which front you like better and what you put on it.

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    Tshayes--

    Here is a little background info that I picked up over the years that you might be unaware of.

    I think there is a little more to the helmet purchase than just quality of the helmet. Comming from guys I've talked to that it also involved a requirement that bunker gear bid come from a from a single source supplier. Therefore once they chose morning pride bunker gear they also would purchase the helmets from them as well. It was a package deal. Thats also why you see them wearing Pro Warringtons, also sold by the Total Fire Group.

    In addition I would imagine the city was looking at minimizing cost of outfitting the Dept of 11,000+ members after loosing a number of high profile lawsuits over the issue. Well we all know that the Ben II is much cheaper than a Cairns N5A Although the long term cost may be more(Due to increased turnover and replacement of composite helmets vs. properly maintained leather helmets) Politics is focused on Short term and the short term cost is signifigantly less.

    I've talked to guys who like the leather and also guys who like the lighter Ben II. There is a give and take on both sides of the issue.

    And the final item one must consider is that with any big city whether NY, Dallas or San Fran, in purchasing bids politics play a very large roll. Regardless of the merits of a certain piece of equipment.

    As for the Ben II taking the spill off of the 4th story...I'd look at the booklet that is provided from the manufacturer and serioulsy consider sending the helmet in for an inspection. The Composite helmets are designed to break and absorb the shock. With such a load being placed on your helmet I would wonder if there are not hairline cracks that have serioulsy weakened your helmets protective qualities. The Ben II just doesn't possess the same durability as a leather in this respect. I should know I broke my first Ben II.

    FTM-PTB

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    What do you guys think about the N6A. What is so great about it.

  25. #25
    SFDny15
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    Originally posted by tshayes
    What do you guys think about the N6A. What is so great about it.
    I use it and there are many things I like about it,

    1) NFPA Approval - Unlike the N5A (New Yorker), the N6A is fully NFPA compliant, whereas the N5A is only OSHA approved.

    2) Faceshield - Although I would love to have a pair of bourkes on my helmet, my department does is fair share of extrication and other activies which need added eye protection. So, the 4" shield does wonders for me.

    3) Comfortable - The leather on the ratchet as well as the added material on the chin strap make the N6A extremely comfortable to wear.

    4) Its leather! Isn't that the main and most important reason?

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